Help me please---have cooler want to build incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by harleyjo, May 16, 2011.

  1. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    I have read so many things and I am so confused now. I want to build an inexpensive but good incubator. I have an old hard plastic type cooler. I would like an egg turner in this. I want a viewing window on the top or something. I am a woman who needs to have someone walk me through this step by step. I want to be able to incubate chicken and duck eggs. Thanks!
  2. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    Inexpensive and good don't tend to be found in the same package, at least not without a great deal of creativity.

    There are tones of pictures and how to's to look into.

    What you need will be a heat source, a thermostat , a fan, a good quality thermometer and hydrometer and optionally something for the window and the egg turner.

    The heat source can easily be fassioned from 120 light bulbs, a couple 25 to 40 watt bulbs should be plenty for a mid sized cooler. Two bulbs are better than one.

    Termostat can be made from a hot water tank termostat, hot water bed thermostat or ones used in actual incubators can be ordered on line. Pet stores also sell reptile thromostats that might work but will cost a bit more.

    Egg turner can be made in lots of different ways, simple turners can be accomplished by placing the eggs in a carton and tipping the carton side to side. Another way would be to place the eggs on rollers that can be rotated. If you go automatic it will be more complicated, expensive and subject to screwing up. Hand turning eggs is a simple option that does work as long as you have the time to flip the eggs a couple times a day.

    Computer fans can work well for an incubator but need a low voltage DC power supply, good source for these are old phone chargers or other plug in adapters for small appliances. 6 to 9 volt dc power supplies should have enough voltage to drive a small 12 volt computer fan.

    A simple window can be cut into the cooler and you can glue, tape or screw some sort of clear plastic, make it double glazed by puting one on the inside and one on the outside.

    Then you need a hole for venting, something about 1.25 inches should do fine. Add some containers of water that can be opened or closed to control humidity. Also nice to have wire mesh basket and pan for them to hatch on.

    I just hatched out a couple dozen chickes from a $4 incubator I made out of junk in about 2 hours so it really does not take much.
  3. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    main component wise, I use a reptitemp 500 thermostat that can be purchased for 25 bucks. Well worth it. Reliable, and you can plug two heat sources into it. no wiring needed, just plug and play. I looked everywhere, and managed to get a mercury wet bulb/dry bulb thermometer/hygrometer for not that much. Also very reliable. But, most settle for digital. Best thing to do is by a hygrometer that can be calibrated, because you will need to adjust the cheaper ones fairly often. Look up salt calibration for hygrometers for ideas. i actually recommend a double pane window on the side. Heat rises, and you can loose quite a bit ou the top windows. Also, some sort of aluminum insolation around the heat source area helps. I'll post wiring diagrams for lamp sockets and PC fans when I get home. I use a four inch fan. Best of luck! [​IMG]

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